What is mSphereDirect™ ?
mSphereDirect is a new publishing pathway in mSphere, a multidisciplinary open-access journal spanning the microbial sciences. mSphereDirect facilitates a fundamental shift from traditional peer review by putting authors in control and allowing them to secure reviews from recognized experts as quickly as possible. This pathway guarantees a decision within five business days. Authors select their own reviewers and submit scientific reviews simultaneously with the original research. mSphere Senior Editors validate the reviewers’ credentials and evaluate the quality of the submitted reviews and research. This pathway puts authors in control and allows for rapid decisions, speed to publication, and transparency in review.
When can I submit my manuscript via the mSphereDirect pathway?
You can submit your mSphereDirect manuscript to mSphere today!
Why was mSphereDirect conceived?
mSphereDirect is a response to the scientific community’s concerns about the current scholarly publishing process: peer review is too slow, the publishing process is too opaque, and journal editors may be too far outside their field when evaluating manuscripts. mSphereDirect puts authors in the driver’s seat to secure reviews from suitable experts as rapidly as possible. Its objectives are to support the rapid communication of science, to give authors more control over the peer review process, and to provide guaranteed fast decisions. Additionally, mSphereDirect will increase transparency by publishing reviewer names with original research papers accepted via the mSphereDirect pathway. In this way, mSphereDirect merges two crucial publication concepts: relevant, quality peer review and vetted, rapid decisions.
How does one publish via mSphereDirect?
Authors secure at least two qualified reviewers. Authors modify their manuscript in response to reviewers’ comments. Once all edits are made, the author submits a cover letter, the final manuscript, review forms, a response to the reviewer comments, and an acknowledgment from the reviewers that the authors have adequately addressed their reviews to mSphere’s submission site. Authors may deposit a PDF of the manuscript, including the text and all figures/tables, in bioRxiv, the online archive and distribution service for preprints in the life sciences operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. If accepted, bioRxiv will indicate on their website that the preprint was accepted by mSphere. Direct submission from bioRxiv to mSphereDirect is available.
In 5 business days, authors receive a final decision on whether their paper was accepted. Accepted papers will be published within 4 weeks with reviewer names and institutional affiliations.
What will it cost to publish via mSphereDirect?
ASM has adopted an "author pays" open-access model to cover publishing costs. Authors (or their funding agencies or institutions) pay a flat publication fee for each article published. This fee includes immediate open access and unlimited color figures. If the corresponding author is an active member of ASM at the Contributing or Premium level, the Article Processing Charge (APC) is $2,250 for Research Articles; the APC is $3,000 for nonmembers and ASM members at the Supporting level. Authors will receive a $500 discount during the inaugural year of mSphereDirect. Nonmember corresponding authors or supporting members may join and renew or upgrade their membership online to obtain discounts on publication fees.
Can I resubmit if my manuscript was not accepted?
Manuscripts rejected via the mSphereDirect path are eligible for resubmission to the regular mSphere path or to another ASM Journal but will not be considered a second time via the mSphereDirect pathway.
Does mSphereDirect consider submissions of manuscripts on preprint servers?
Yes. In fact, deposition to bioRxiv is encouraged and direct submission from bioRxiv to mSphere is available. Upon acceptance of a manuscript, bioRxiv will tag the preprint version as accepted for publication in mSphere on their website.